Love for the Lost

Jesus loves the lost. He told a parable to some tax collectors and sinners in Luke 15 that shows us the deep extent of this longing love. Jesus said,"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent."

I'd like to say that I love the lost this much, but I sometimes wonder if I truly love the lost, or do I love the idea of converting one of the lost?
I find when I'm thinking selfishly, I focus on "soul-winning". Ironically, we all know that God is the one who does the "soul-winning" and converting. He has actually called us to do the soul searching. Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. In the same way, we see seek the lost and lead them to safety in the arms of Jesus, who is the shepherd. We do this by sharing the gospel with the lost. We do this when we truly love the lost.

This afternoon, my 3-year old daughter asked us if we stayed in heaven forever. We didn't even bring up this topic, she brought it up! I said, "yes, we do stay in heaven with God forever". I didn't want to confuse her with the technicalities of the new heaven, new earth, and new Jerusalem at this point. At the thought of being in heaven forever, she began to weep almost uncontrollably. I felt so sad for her, and asked her why she was crying. She said, "I will miss my Mimi and Nana!!". Fortunately, her Mimi and Nana are both Christians and we were able to explain to her that they will both be in heaven one day. However, I was taken back by my little girl's love for people. I wonder how much different my life would be if my love for the lost caused me to weep uncontrollably.

Father, may my love for the lost look like that of your Son Jesus.